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Tuesday, 14 November, 2000, 15:09 GMT
Is humanity to blame?

Prince Charles, a keen environmentalist, says recent disasters such as flooding, BSE and global warming are caused by human arrogance.

"Some recent occurrences in our country are, I have no doubt, the consequences of mankind's arrogant disregard of the delicate balance of nature", the Prince claims.

Is it right to blame human arrogance for recent disasters? Is this alarmist talk? Or is Prince Charles right to suggest we may be 'agents of our own destruction'?

HAVE YOUR SAY Of course humanity is to blame. Who else can be accused of feeding animals to herbivores? I suppose Mother Nature is to blame?
Beckie, UK

All this from the man who "drives his own Aston Martin" - hmmm... Think I'll go home, leave the fridge door open and start another ice age - that will stop global warming!!
Mike, Singapore

We must shoulder a large part of the responsibility

Amanda, France
We must shoulder a large part of the responsibility. We're are treating our planet as a dustbin. For the moment, it seems that nobody has become aware of the environmental disaster. When we wake up to the problem it will be too late to react with any degree of success. Are the Prince's views as radical as all that? It's a good thing he has brought the matter to our attention.
Amanda, France

It takes human arrogance to not realise that we can neither eat, drink nor breathe money.
Neil, UK

Yes, humanity is to blame. But who made Prince Charles an expert?
B. Maguire, UK

Rains and storms have been with us since time began

John B, UK
I refuse to accept that global warming is the spectre it is so widely made out to be. Rains and storms have been with us since time began (did Noah blame global warming?). What is clear is that the levels of pollution being pumped into the air and sea is upsetting the balance that Nature has taken millions of years to achieve. We ignore the rules of Nature at our own peril, as shown by Thalidomide and BSE.
John B, UK

I like Prince Charles. It takes a sensitive personality, not a degree, to see what is causing the problems in the world. However, if everyone had the same amount of possessions and large cars he does, the world would be totally devastated. So if he wants to become a real leader, he needs to give up all these, live in a small energy efficient house and travel on the bus.
Phil Smith, UK

I wholeheartedly agree with Prince Charles. In fact if something is not done soon, the human race will be on that list of endangered species.
Meg Webb, USA/ England

Human beings are a chaotic aberration of nature

Robert Cragie, UK
Human beings are a chaotic aberration of nature, or, if you like, one of God's experiments gone wrong. We are precipitating another mass extinction of species (as has happened before), this time including ourselves. Maybe in a million years or so from now, long after the human race is extinct, the earth will have managed to reclaim some of the destruction rained upon it by these peculiar hairless apes.
Robert Cragie, UK

Although I am no fan of blood sports enthusiast Prince Charles - a man who talks to foxgloves and watches happily as a fox is torn to pieces by hounds - I must protest at those who belittle him for his 'non-scientific' credentials and quote 'experts' who are in the main on the payrolls of the very organisations who are doing the most to pollute our world. Time and again the Government listens to these people and ignores the independent voices who are all too often proved right in the end.
Gill Redfearn, UK

Prince Charles is right on target. The efforts of business interests to wait until we are completely sure that the range of greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere are having a discernible effect on climate and weather, is the same as saying we should all put our lives at risk for industry. What are we supposed to do, sit calmly and wait until disaster and crop failures become widespread? To err on the side of caution is no error. To conduct business as usual in the face of global warming and the fury of a changing climate is arrogant, careless, criminal folly.
Rick Thorne, USA

Human "ingenuity" IS a force of nature

Lee, Winchester, England
I can understand Charles' perspective, but I think he has very little evidence of cause and effect here. As other correspondents have said, the Earth has gone through more dramatic changes than this. However, we are making a mess of the planet, and these events may serve at the very least of a foretaste of what we can expect when things do go badly wrong because of our insensitive behaviour. Some have said our power is fairly insignificant compared to "Nature" - but they seem to forget, human "ingenuity" IS a force of nature.
Lee, Winchester, England

Well, Charles seems to be suffering from that all-too-common arrogance that pervades humanity. Were we driving cars during the great Ice Ages, or the many other 'temperature events' throughout Earth's history? The recent weather patterns coincide with a huge release of energy from the sun in the form of solar flares. That does not make a sufficient excuse for a doom-monger like Charles to find a platform.
Martin Dart, Oxford, UK

Reading some of the remarks on here - I am frankly astonished at humanity's ability to play ostrich and pretend everything is fine. The vast majority of leading scientists, conclude that humankind is damaging the environment and global warming and climate change are the consequences. How long are we going to wait before we accept this and work on changing our behaviour? Until London is under water? Attacking Prince Charles for his comments is childish and short-sighted - he's expressing concerns that many people feel and ridiculing him is just diverting attention from where it needs to be, solving our environmental problem.
Chris Power, UK

The comments here are interesting, most people agree with the Prince's common sense, however the scientific Mafia poo-poo his words and say he doesn't know what he is talking about. This is what they always say, they know what is best for us, but when it all goes wrong then its not their fault!
Chris Chow, UK

The day that HRH drives an electric vehicle

Capt. Mike Hogan, UK
The day that HRH drives an electric vehicle or a motor car less than 2 litres he will gain credibility. However now, who will take notice?
Capt. Mike Hogan, UK

The human race has a lot of things to answer for - wars, over-population and greed - but there are plenty of naturally occurring disasters that we cannot be blamed for such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, spring tides and freak weather. Nature has always had its own way of adjusting itself. The human race can help itself by voluntarily restricting the size of their families, gather only deadwood and not build in valley bottoms.

Whether the current rate of climate change is down to Man or whether its cyclical is irrelevant. What cannot be disputed is that Man and nothing else has been responsible for widespread pollution, destruction of the forests and the extinction of many thousands of species. It is not only the capitalist system that is to blame. Under communism, in Eastern Europe and China, environmental and wildlife destruction has been very bit as bad. Until people stop aspiring to owning fast cars, big houses etc the future looks grim.
Alex B, UK

Firstly, Miles, UK says that this is our planet and we have a right to change our environment to suit ourselves. Wrong! That is precisely the arrogant attitude Charlie-Boy is talking about. The planet does not belong to us - we belong to the planet, and no matter how tough or intelligent you may think you are, when nature hits back, you are at it's complete mercy. Ergo if we don't learn to live by IT'S rules, then we will lose. We are not killing the Earth, nor will it die - it is even arrogant to think we have that much power - nature will simply remove the thorn in it's side and move on.
Ian, HK

I totally agree with Prince Charles in that we are "arrogant" and we are agents of our own destruction. World over-population will/is our downfall.
Openshaw, USA.

Is this the same prince that arrogantly enjoys shooting nature? or doesn't he think that the foxes make up part of natures ecological balance. He really should clean up his own act before he decides to open his mouth! It wasn't so long ago that the Royal Family were quite happy to go shooting Tigers in India either! Charles and his family have contributed to more destruction of nature than any of us commoners!
Ceri Lloyd, Australia

The prince has a right to an opinion just as the rest of us here making comments. He knows what is at stake when he voices his publicly. We should at least respect him for that. All of us tacitly support capitalism by our chosen mode of living, why should we be so outraged then when it's product, the long-term injury to our health, or the environment is the result? Until we learn a moral way of living, we will have to live with the consequences. It is unwise to put too much faith in science. Science at the moment is in the service of capitalism - it is not to be trusted until it can act responsibly of its own accord.
Bruce Reid, Germany

He may be half-right, he may only be 10% right

Nick Hing, UK
Isn't this a case of 'Yes, maybe'? There are so many influences on the currents in a pond let alone an ocean, let alone a planet. The Prince may be right, he may be half-right, he may only be 10% right. But secretly and deep down, we all KNOW we are doing harm to the environment whether that harm has identifiable disastrous effects or not, AND we all know that we shouldn't. So what are we all going to do about it? Whether the Prince as a person who cannot be questioned or criticised is right to voice these concerns or not is another matter. Yours, drowning in Southern England. Nick
Nick Hing, UK

Every contributor to this discussion who has blamed Western society for causing a lot of rain should turn off the computer, the CD player, the refrigerator, and the lights as well. Before you make smug comments, just remember that "you" are part of Western society and even the most ardent Green is personally benefiting daily from the "excesses" thereof.
Wally, England

Humanity is to blame - for not being audacious enough. When I hear talk of going back to nature and of the evils of progress, I think of another bunch of entirely natural, organic, non-polluting, non-capitalist creatures that ruled the world once: the DINOSAURS. As some guy said, they died, because they didn't have a space program. We're human, we have rational minds; if the greenhouse effect or whatever is a problem, then GET OFF YOUR REAR END AND GO FIX IT and quit with the whining.
Julian Morrison, England

Who will put us in a zoo and save us from extinction?

Sue C, Australia
It is absolutely right to blame human arrogance as the root cause of most of the recent disasters, we think we are masters of nature, instead of realising we are part of it. We will be the agents of our own destruction: in our arrogance science tells us we can control nature, religion tells us its ours to play with. We push, exploit, and mix things up, fiddling with interactions far more complex than we can immediately appreciate. Yes, the global eco-system will find a new level, but the chances are that new level will not be favourable to us as a species, just as we have been changing it to the detriment of other species. Who will put us in a zoo and save us from extinction?
Sue C, Australia

Environmentalism is the new religion. The arrogance lies in thinking, as a race we are so important that our activity affects the weather or that we can even be certain of that. The fact is, scientists are undecided on the causes of global warming, for every one who thinks we are to blame there is one who thinks we are experiencing a normal weather pattern. It is not that long since plans were afoot to pipe water from the North England to the South. There were serious floods in 1904 - was that due to coal fires? Back then, we would have been more likely to be told that it was 'an act of God and punishment for our amorality.
Wendy, UK

When every fish has been caught, all the air is polluted and every tree felled, then humanity will understand you cannot eat money.
James Clarke, UK

With no commercial agenda or scientific/academic reputation to promote, Prince Charles has once again done what he does best: echo the layman's inescapable conclusions about the world we share. And got an audience - witness all these knockers and smart-Alecs who don't know a well-read mind when they see one. Boffins go hang: confine judgements of "not proven!" to Scottish courthouses!
Patrick Melling, Australia

Natural balance? There is no equilibrium in nature, only constant change. It is debatable as to whether there is global warming and whether it is caused by human means. What is clear is that human activities have adverse effects on some local environments. Whether or not vehicle emissions contribute to global warming, they certainly contribute to local pollution. Building on flood plains does not increase rainfall, but it does mean that you are more likely to be flooded.
Dr Duncan Campbell, UK

This planet is more than capable of saving itself. If mankind were to choke itself and other species to death through pollution, deforestation, nuclear war etc. within a million years, give or take; a mere blink of an eye in evolutionary terms, Earth would be full of life again. Mankind is not bigger than the planet yet!
Mark Edwards, England

Humans very rarely do anything unless they are forced to by necessity

Will Gray, UK
I think that Prince Charles is correct in all of those claims. They have occurred as a direct response to our interference with the natural scheme of things. We are to blame for these problems and there is a certain amount of guilt attached to that, the true blame, though, will lie at our door if we fail to take the action that is clearly needed. We require alternative forms of transport and power. We have to create less waste and we need to see the world and everyone in it as a community. However humans very rarely do anything unless they are forced to by necessity, when the fuel runs out we will find other ways.
Will Gray, UK

Prince Charles is right, virtually all mankind's problems are self-inflicted; global warming, high crime figures, famine, queues on the M25, are all due to man's disregard for the planet by over-populating it. Malthus highlighted the problem over 100 years ago. The big problem now is how to eradicate 100,000,000 million people to bring the population back in line and save the planet.
Peter, UK

I fully agree with Charlie. Although not always in tune with the people, I think he has a point. Having grown up in Britain I have noticed a general climatic change since the 60's. You cannot assume that a hole in the ozone layer larger than the size of several Americas has no effect on our climatic conditions. It's time the industrialised nations such as Britain own up to their arrogance and try to remedy the situation. If not, the ones that will suffer the most will be those third world countries that can least afford to be subjected to floods and droughts.
Balraj Gill, England

It warms me to know that we might eventually have a monarch on the throne willing to make such a bold statement. The Government seems unwilling to protect the environment and enforce proper controls for scientific and technological development. We would be wise to listen to what our future King has to say.
Dr. Colin Eberhardt, UK

When we kept quiet for fear of being called Luddites

Merx, UK
Prince Charles was ridiculed for talking to plants yet now it has been scientifically proven to promote stronger growth in plants. He voiced our gut feelings about modern architecture when we kept quiet for fear of being called Luddites by those who presumed to know better. He was criticised further for his belief and promotion of alternative medicine, a practice that is growing within the NHS itself. His belief in organic farming again has been vindicated over time. His detractors portray him as man totally out of touch with reality. His record proves otherwise.
Merx, London, UK

Yes, which is why who becomes president of the USA, the world's biggest energy user, is a matter of concern for all of us, globally. Unfortunately, we don't get to vote, though we're profoundly affected.
Stan Smith, UK

I think the global warming myth has been put about by those with an interest in research grants looking for a "safe" project and a politically-correct bandwagon to jump on. When investigating this subject a proper approach would be to assess all factors involved such as the solar cycle, which must have a major effect, before rushing to assumptions that humans are guilty and have to appease the gods by getting rid of cars, etc. The real motivator for change has to be leadership with achievable and measurable objectives.
John Moonie, Scotland

We don't actually need to be hearing this from the heir to the throne

Peter Manchester, UK
Whether he is right or wrong, it is obvious that we don't actually need to be hearing this from the heir to the throne, who has no scientific credentials. There is good reason to suspect that he is simply using topical issues to gain credibility at a time when the role of the monarchy is widely questioned.
Peter Manchester, UK

Ron from Wales says that "science, not spiritual ramblings . holds the answer". This is a very good example of the sort of arrogance Prince Charles is talking about. Because we seem to be progressively cutting ourselves off from nature we disregard the consequences of our actions, we don't bother to think about them or prefer not to. A spiritual approach reflected in consuming less, individually becoming rather disinterested in material possessions and wealth, having respect for other people and the environment in general would go a long way towards protecting our future. This has nothing to do with being anti-science, or luddite.
Stephen, London, UK

We humans are indeed to blame for the recent turn of events mentioned. I find it absurd that in the wake of the recent floods, a group of people are planning more protests against high taxes on a substance that is one of the biggest contributors to the speeding up of the Earth's natural warming. Do these people have children? Do they want their children to have a future?
Stuart, Netherlands.

For once I agree with the man

Harry Knapp, Germany
For once I agree with the man. We are without doubt disturbing and gradually destroying the things that keep us alive. However there is one more thing to realise and that is that the Earth will gradually fall back to a state of equilibrium. Our environment will become unfriendly and then unable to sustain animal life until it has 'repaired' itself. There's nothing magical or mystical about this, it's just an example of feedback within a closed system. The ironic thing is that we all know this but we don't want to do anything about it. Considering that we're supposed to be the most intelligent form of life on our planet, all in all we're pretty stupid really!
Harry Knapp, Germany

I'm sorry but Prince Charles is showing the same level of arrogance as the rest of society. After reading a few articles on the subject, he has proclaimed himself an "expert". It is almost laughable if it wasn't so tragic and dangerous. I do not know what is causing the changes in the environment but I can't help but look towards the Sun where 99.99999% of all energy arrives. It is know that the Sun is in a state of flux at the moment and in a turbulent part of its cycle so how can this be ignored?
S. Patel, UK

As usual it is money, pure greed and politicians that are the primary causes. I just wonder what the final outcome will be.
Chris, Germany

Politicians are very slow to do anything to stop global warming

Noreen McAllen, England
I agree with Prince Charles. It is good to have someone with influence in this country who cares about our world and environment. Politicians are very slow to do anything to stop global warming.
Noreen McAllen, England

I congratulate all those environmentally aware people for accepting that we are ruining the very space that supports our lives. Now how about digging deep and accepting that we all need to share the financial burden. Let's start, say, with higher fuel taxes and a Government that has some environmental backbone.
Duncan, UK

Indicators from science point ever more unequivocally to the detrimental influence of mankind in what's going badly (for mankind!!) in the environment. The nub of the problem lies therefore not with whether or not it's (partly or wholly) our fault but which part of mankind is most responsible. This is the most sensitive area because the "system" as it stands that most of us rely on for our creature comforts is turning out to be inherently detrimental.
Donald Bathgate, Italy

I didn't realise that Prince Charles was an acknowledged authority on the environment

Bob, UK
I didn't realise that Prince Charles was an acknowledged authority on the environment. I'd love to read his published research on the subject. Looks as if he's following in his father's footsteps again, but at least he brings the loonies out of the woodwork for all to see. One of your readers quotes divine have to laugh. Did we cause the last ice age as well?
Bob, UK

I am surprised by the hostile reaction to the Prince's speech by some quarters within the scientific community. It would seem that those responsible for polluting the food chain with prion proteins and carnivorous cattle would be the last to have any authority on issues concerning the ecosystem. A degree of humility would seem more appropriate. Those who speak out seem to be using the same denials that made tobacco companies infamous a decade ago ("there's no proof"). Many scientists are unable to see beyond their own particular experiments and ambitions. We are fools if we blindly follow this self-elected post-modern priesthood
Dr. Salmaan Qureshi, UK

I wholeheartedly agree with Prince Charles. For those living in the South East of England the last time we had a spell of about a week of hot/ warm DRY weather was when there were virtually no cars on the road and the petrol crisis was at its peak! Enough said. Of course there will be those who live abroad who have had no rain for months. This is our fault. God sends rain on the just and the unjust alike. We are to blame.
Val, England

Those who discount Prince Charles as being unscientific should think again

Vince Jones, UK
Those who discount Prince Charles as being unscientific should think again. Back in 1992 1,670 scientists (including 110 of the 138 living Nobel Science prize winners) issued the "'World Scientists' Warning to Humanity". It included these comments: "We are fast approaching many of the Earth's limits. Current economic practices which damage the environment cannot continue. Our massive tampering could trigger unpredictable collapse of our critical biological systems which are only partly understood". It seems to me that Prince Charles is only pointing out what these scientists were warning of 8 years ago. Good for him. Now it's time to do something about it.
Vince Jones, UK

If I had Prince Charles's bank balance I also would have a gas guzzling helicopter, Range Rover and Aston Martin. I would then humbly live with my own arrogance rather than draw attention to it.
Robin Pearce, UK

It is a matter of fact that global warming will lead to increased flooding

Dan, England
It is a matter of fact that global warming will lead to increased flooding. As the ice caps melt, the resulting water has to go somewhere. These floods which are occurring around the globe, will continue until nature finds its own equilibrium.
Dan, England

As far as the severity of our weather at present is concerned, I believe it cannot be attributed to global warming. Our weather has always been changeable. However, as far as the Prince of Wales' comments upon human arrogance are concerned I would say I have to agree with him, but in the context of homes and businesses being built continuously on natural flood plains. Building homes here is as foolish as building on sand.
Michael McGoldrick, UK

I heard or saw a report somewhere that this round of flooding is the worst for 400 years. What was the excuse for the flooding 400 years ago?
Ian Swain, UK

The Monarchy should speak about the events that impact the Kingdome

John Atkins, Finland
Good for Prince Charles! The Monarchy should speak about the events that impact the Kingdom. In his statement, he is showing his concern for "his" people, and the wider world.
John Atkins, Finland

Yet another reason to abolish the Monarchy....
Mike H, Bristol, England

It is very interesting to read the comments and opinions people have on this issue. Most clearly, there seems to be a lot of dogma on both sides. What should really be done is a careful and spirited debate on where we are going as a race and what concerted efforts can be made by all to achieve a balanced world, environmentally, politically and economically. Having said that, the Prince is right!
Socrates Olympio, United Kingdom

The Earth is slowly changing as a result of man's disregard for it's natural balance. The cutting of forests, the thinning of the ozone layer, the melting of the ice caps at the North Pole are all results of materialism, greed and having no respect for one's habitat.

I agree with Prince Charles, and believe the core issue we should be focusing on is humanity's pathological obsession with economic growth. If we do not immediately begin developing a steady-state economics and rediscover our role as stewards of a small, beautiful planet, future generations will inherit a devastated world.
John M. Szicsak, Canada

Building a few more flood barriers is not the issue

Andy Brown, UK
I'm not sure where the proof is that flooding is caused by global warming. But there seems little doubt that man is having a catastrophic influence on the planet. Animals are dying out; the sea is becoming polluted and devoid of fish; the ozone layer is dangerously thin. We are on a downward spiral to self-destruction that will not be reversed without a fundamental change of global strategy. Building a few more flood barriers is not the issue. Prince Charles for once is basically correct.
Andy Brown, UK

Almost all informed scientists believe that we are experiencing human- caused global warming. Eight of the ten warmest years in the last 1000 were in the 1990's. The 1990's were also probably the warmest decade in the last 50,000 years (we know from ice cores). It's not that the floods were necessarily caused by global warming, but the pattern of extreme weather events in recent years is suggestive. The people rubbishing global warming here don't seem to know much about it.
Simon Dresner, UK

I think Prince Charles speaks with good common sense on this issue

Robert Simmons, England
I think Prince Charles speaks with good common sense on this issue. Of course, what we do has to impact on the delicate balance of nature - the only unknown is how much of any one scenario can be laid at the feet of any one action. Most would agree that deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels has a harmful effect - the only question is how much? And don't even get me STARTED on the conceit of scientists who think they have the answers...
Robert Simmons, England

Charles has made a habit of mouthing off. He is abusing his position within this nation by using his title to give some air of authority to opinions that are basically a mish-mash of pseudoscience, hearsay and panic mongering.
Ian Lowe, Scotland, UK

The Prince of Wales says BSE and the floods are due to "mankind's arrogant disregard of the delicate balance of nature", but what about the "delicate balance" of capitalism, which by "nature", keeps the poor poor, by forever enriching the rich through privileged possession of productive assets - like, for example, the Duchy of Cornwall?
Max Hess, UK

This is our planet. As long as we don't break it we can do what we like

Miles, UK
The Planet Earth is an incredibly strong system, which is also in a constant state of flux. Temperatures change, environments change, we may help, but we are only doing what we have been doing for hundreds of thousands of years when we first came out of the caves. Changing our environment to suit us. We have a right to do that. This is our planet. As long as we don't break it we can do what we like.
Miles, UK

These floods are without a doubt, heartbreaking and very sad to see happening. I do think that we are messing this planet up with our consumption of fossil fuels and such. Coming from America and raised here, knowing that we are one of the earth's main polluters. I feel that we all have to do our part together to stop these outrageous storms. But, then again, Floods, Tornadoes, and other natural disasters have been around since time began. Are we really the ones who are doing it? Or is it just Mother Nature at work? Any way you observe it, it is a tragedy that cannot be stopped.
Jason Gibson, United States

Humanity is indeed to blame. What are we doing to fix it? I am afraid after so many years of altering the environment and ecological system we pay the price.
Ank, Scotland

When will Prince Charles realise that he is not qualified to make such statements. No-one can say with any certainty what the direct cause of the floods were as the atmosphere is such a complex system. Crazy as it sounds, it may even be due to a butterfly in Brazil flapping its wings. There is a debate to be had and much more to be investigated. Charles contribution, although well meaning is actually unhelpful.
Allon, England

Global warming is a natural occurrence. Temperature has increased since the last ice age 10,000 years ago

Andrew Waite, UK
Global warming is a natural occurrence. Temperature has increased since the last ice age 10,000 years ago. It is thought that human activity in the last 20 or so years have stepped up the rate of increase. BSE/CJD would appear to be caused by profit seeking arrogant people in the farming industry.
Andrew Waite, UK

Prince Charles is correct and his views reflect those of an ever growing proportion of people. Lets hope our representatives realise this sooner rather than later.
William Hudson, UK

The prince is ABSOLUTELY right to blame Humans for the state of planet Earth. Mankind has developed at a faster rate this century than any other and the environment is suffering as a cause. As this has only really come about in the last century, we do have time to make this right otherwise the 20th Century will always be remembered for how humans butchered the Earth.
Bilal Cheema, UK

Of course we are to blame - we have been told time and time again what the consequences are - all we have done is bury our heads in the sand. Mother Nature must be thinking to herself " I told you so"
Ian Bevan, UK

Is the Prince of Wales soon to publish a volume entitled "A Vision of the Earth"? He has made it his hobby to point out problems while all too rarely offering solutions.
T.J. Cassidy, USA

Communism will destroy your country and capitalism will destroy the world

Gerry, Scotland
A lecturer I had at University used to say that Communism will destroy your country and capitalism will destroy the world. I hope to God he is not proven right.
Gerry, Scotland

It would be wrong to attribute human arrogance for all environmental disasters. However, Prince Charles' views ought to be wholeheartedly endorsed in the sense that man, in his greed for development and the tonnes of money which flow from it, should not upset the ecological balance. If he doesn't respect Mother Nature, it will naturally lead to environmental catastrophes.
Albert Devakaram, India

Charles should restrict himself to talking to his flowers - in private. If he wishes to make public comment on issues such as global warming, BSE etc. he should at least demonstrate some grasp of the science and not simply bombard us with a load of half-baked opinions.
John Brownlee, England

Are humans to blame for the current state of the climate? Who knows? The earth has been around a few billion years and weather records don't go back that far. What is certain is that the way we treat the earth certainly does nothing to help.
Joe RYAN, France

We are more than capable of caring properly for the environment, so is the reason we don't because of profit or arrogance?

Paul R, UK
I'm no environmental activist, but any normal person can see how we are abusing nature rather than harnessing it. Globally we are destroying forests without re-planting, we build dams that cause problems downstream, feed meat products to vegetarian animals and bury billions of tons of waste each year without recycling it. We are more than capable of caring properly for the environment, so is the reason we don't because of profit or arrogance?
Paul R, UK

Prince Charles is simply demonstrating his own scientific illiteracy, and by the way, his own arrogance in making such assertions about the causes of the weather and other problems
Tim Roberts, UK

Are we really to blame for global warming - I don't think we yet have all the facts, our human contribution pale in significance to natural factors such as volcanic eruptions. But with the BSE disaster, its not human arrogance, but human greed and profiteering and ignorance that was too blame for the unnatural feeding of animal protein to herbivores which caused the leap between species of the disease.
Richard Olearczyk, United Kingdom

In any individual event, it is impossible to allocate blame with 100% certainty

Andrew Torrance, Wales
In any individual event, it is impossible to allocate blame with 100% certainty. However looking at the earth on a geological time scale then there is no doubt we are in the process of screwing it up. There are too many humans stealing living space from other living things, and too many humans consuming too many limited resources. I do not know the answer, but we must find one in the next few generations.
Andrew Torrance, Wales, UK

We can't say for sure how much of the blame for these floods is ours, and how much is just freakish bad luck. But what we can say is that we're trashing the environment anyway, and we have to stop. This is all that really matters in the long run. Prince Charles is right.
Alastair Stevens, UK

As far as the recent floods are concerned we certainly have to shoulder some of the blame. Even if the Greenhouse Effect is unproven it is a solid fact that man's land use contributes to flooding. Naturally water seeps through the ground as well as down rivers, but water doesn't seep through concrete or flood defences and the water that does seep into our fields is channelled back into the rivers.
Jonathan Kelk, Worcester, England

Human nature is tragic and self-destructive but we cannot change

Timothy Hale, England
I agree with the Princes sentiments, but he should realise that he is speaking from a very privileged position and unless he has any 'useful' suggestions then he might as well talk to his plants. Human nature is tragic and self-destructive but we cannot change.
Timothy Hale, England

I agree entirely. This is without a doubt divine retribution, and it is only the start. All these things have been foretold in Holy Scripture and are there for all with a pure heart to understand and heed.
Don, Scotland

I rather think the Prince is pursuing his own green agenda

Chris Cowdery, UK
I rather think the Prince is pursuing his own green agenda. One particularly bad flood does not constitute climate change, you need more data than that. How many times have these rivers flooded in the past? The Prince should instead be lamenting our wholesale destruction of the natural environment as the cause of the flooding disasters, not climate change.
Chris Cowdery, UK

'We' are not the agents of our own destruction - the problem is a lack of accountability. In pursuit of ever-greater profits, ever-greater liberties are being taken with the safety of individuals. SOMEONE made money out of feeding cows the carcasses of dead cows instead of proper feed. While irresponsible greed is not punished it will thrive to the detriment of us all.
Pete, England

Prince Charles is right, I wholeheartedly agree with him.
Ajit Manku, Canada

Yet more utterly irrational drivel from a sad man who is completely out of touch with reality. That anyone pays any attention to his occasional outbursts of mumbo-jumbo is a sign of just how much further we have to go in driving out superstition and meaningless religiosity from the world. We've always had floods, disease and storms and we always will; science, not spiritual ramblings and prophecies of doom, holds the answer.
Ron Thompson, Wales

York's floods are said to be the highest for 400 years - what caused them 400 years ago?

Dave, UK
York's floods are said to be the highest for 400 years - what caused them 400 years ago? All the weather experts keep saying 'it's the worst since records began'. This was less than 200 years ago, a blink of an eye in geological time. The planet cannot be kept in a static state. 10,000 years ago there were 5 miles of ice above most of the UK - I don't think man had much influence over this.
Dave, UK

I agree with the Prince and I also think that modernisation will be cause of our destruction.
Shahid, Pakistan

Prince Charles is not a "keen environmentalist". He is a person who likes to pronounce on matters of which he has little understanding. The environment just happens to be one of them. Far from there being a "delicate balance of nature", our world is a complex and extremely robust web of feedbacks and interactions. The failure of Prince Charles to grasp this fundamental truth demonstrates most clearly the paucity of his simplistic views.
Andrew, UK

Disasters are caused by ignorance in combination with arrogance

Grahame Naylor, UK
Disasters are caused by ignorance in combination with arrogance. The Prince's comments are often little short of half-baked. I'm sure he means well (!) but to aid and abet the luddite tendencies in society is doing everybody a great disservice.
Grahame Naylor, UK

He is correct to blame humans as they are in the process of destroying planet Earth in a drive to gain a high standard of living. The greatest people are the ones who consume the least and educate their minds spiritually. I do however, find it strange that a man who consumes much resources in the way of material goods should make such a statement.
Krishan Canagasabey, Ceylon/ Tamil

Humans can be likened to a nasty virus - Mother Earth has had enough and is fighting back to rid herself of the human scourge.
Richard Leighton, UK

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